In the first few weeks after you’ve stopped smoking, it is common to experience insomnia as your body goes through nicotine withdrawal. One study in the journal Addictive Behavior involving 322 women in a smoking cessation program found that more than 25 percent experienced sleep disturbances. Try these tips to ease sleep troubles, which may include having trouble falling, or staying, asleep and know that the insomnia should last just a few weeks post-quitting. If sleep disruption persists longer than one month, see your doctor.
– Wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends
– Don’t go to bed unless you feel tired and sleepy
– If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes, get up and do a relaxing activity in another room
– Listen to soft music, flip through a magazine, or read a book to induce sleepiness
– Take a warm bath
– Avoid naps, especially after 3:00 p.m.
– Exercise regularly, but early in the day and not six or fewer hours before bedtime
– Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet
– Avoid watching TV, eating, writing, talking on the phone, or reading in bed (keep TVs and all electronics out of bedrooms)
– Don’t go to bed hungry but avoid large meals (and drinking lots of water) before bedtime
– Establish a bedtime routine
– Drink a warm glass of milk or herbal tea, like chamomile
– Avoid caffeine after 3:00 p.m.
– Avoid alcohol within six hours of bedtime
– Have a massage
– Practice deep-breathing exercises or meditation
– Try this exercise, recommended by the government’s Quit Tobacco campaign: Imagine there are faucets at each finger and toe’s end. Imagine them all running and envision all stress and tension rushing out through them.
If you awake with strong cravings, zap ’em with these Cancer.gov recommended tricks:
– Remember cravings are temporary
– Chomp on apples, carrots, celery or other crunchy, raw fruits and veggies (and keep them stocked)
– Chew sugarless gum
– Eat hard candy
– Avoid places and activities linked to smoking
Good luck on your quit-smoking challenge. It will be hard. It may take several attempts. But we’re rooting for you. Just know that you can and will do this, no matter how long it takes. May the force be with you!
How many attempts have You made to quit smoking?